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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Radiation-Emitting Products

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Hearing Aids and Cell Phones

Before you buy a cell phone, you should try different brands and models to see which phone works best for you.

People who wear hearing aids or have implanted hearing devices may experience some difficulties when trying to use cell phones. Some cell phones can cause radiofrequency interference with hearing aids, so the user hears high-pitched whistling sounds, buzzes, or static.

Fortunately, the compatibility of cell phones and hearing aids is improving. Some phones have lower radiofrequency emissions or use different technologies that can reduce the unwanted effects on hearing aids. The FCC now requires cell phone manufacturers to test and rate their wireless handsets’ hearing aid compatibility using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C63.19 standard. These ratings give an indication of the likelihood a cell phone may interfere with hearing aids; the higher the rating, the less likely the cell phone-hearing aid combination will experience undesired interference. Hearing aid users should read and understand these ratings when choosing a cell phone.

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